A week ago, Macy's fired 2500 and announced the closure of five stores. Moments ago, the company which we have been warning since late 2012 is a melting ice cube that ends in bankruptcy, JCPenney, which a week ago provided the following glib summary "JCPenney reported today that the Company is pleased with its performance for the holiday period", turns out was merely joking and just echoed the Macy's sentiment, announcing the termination of some 2,000 jobs and the closure of 33 stores.
JCPenney today announced that as part of its turnaround efforts, the Company will be closing 33 underperforming stores across the country in order to focus its resources on the Company`s highest potential growth opportunities.
These actions are expected to result in an annual cost savings of approximately $65 million, beginning in 2014. In connection with this initiative, the Company expects to incur estimated pre-tax charges of approximately $26 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 and approximately $17 million in future periods.
Remaining inventory in the affected stores will be sold over the next several months, with final closings expected to be complete by early May. The closings will result in the elimination of approximately 2,000 positions. Eligible associates who do not remain with the Company will receive separation benefits packages. Meanwhile, the Company is continuing its plans to open a new store location later this year at the Gateway II development in Brooklyn, N.Y.
"As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly," said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chief executive officer of JCPenney. "While it`s always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position JCPenney for future success."
What can one say but: this is just the kind of recovery that justifies an S&P500 at all time highs.
Investors initially cheered... but now not so much...